The Beauty Of Handmade Ceramic Tiles / by Imogen Mitchell

As we're sure you're aware already, handmade tiles are what fires us up here at Guy Mitchell Design. It's not just us. All over the world, there are fellow tile enthusiasts, all of whom will explode with excitement when a new artisan or design of handmade tile hits the market. What's not to like, really? We struggle to think of anything. We do have some insight to share with you about what IS to like, though. There is indeed plenty of that.

Tiles that are mass produced (i.e. in a factory setting) tend to be made using earthenware, porcelain, or terracotta clay. Each of these clay types is fired to a different temperature (terracotta being the lowest and porcelain the highest). With handmade tiles, there aren't the same restrictions, meaning you can use many more clay types and fire over a range of different temperatures. the beauty of this is that as a result of having that flexibility, a huge and utterly glorious spectrum of colours becomes available to you. Not only colours, but types of glaze, porosity of tile, level of heat resistance; the sky really is the limit with the combinations that you can achieve! This is partly why tile-making is considered such an art. You are far more likely to find something unique, that no one else in the world has for these very reasons.

Handmade tiles are special because often, you can contact the maker directly and take full advantage of the personal touch that comes as part of the service they offer. If you have a specific requirement, they are usually more than happy to work with you to help you achieve your vision. Whether it's a shape, colour, texture or even just a bit of a wonky area you have in mind, the artisan can make you something that's perfect just for you.

Considering the practical benefits, a handmade tile will without a doubt be more durable than a factory made tile. Handmade tiles tend to be thicker, which means that it takes much more force to break one. You can breath a sigh of relief and with ceramics, we feel that's especially important.

The beauty of handmade tiles is that from a design perspective, they can suit a particular space better that an "off the shelf" mass produced product. An area of handmade tiles can help soften a space. or make it feel rustic, or "aged." Equally, they can help us to recall places with a rich culture (not only in tile design, but in art, music, food, etc.) Think Morocco, Spain, Tunisia, or Portugal. The right tile can beautifully enhance a space to create an authentic look, adding to your whole experience.

To view the exclusive Guy Mitchell Design collection of authentically hand cut and glazed ceramic tiles and to find out what we can do for you, please visit: www.guymitchelldesign.com